|Customer service basics can lift a small business
Whether a person has opened a small business on their own or taken over the reins of operating a family business, keeping up with competition and consumers’ needs can be overwhelming at times.
In the early stages of operating a new business, often there is no time to relax, as the commitment is more time consuming than imagined.
Many successful business owners would say these are the experiences that build character, as hard work and dedication are the ingredients needed to take a small business to the next level.
One thing is certain, small business owners do not go into business to fail. Unfortunately, some do not succeed as they had hoped.
One of the issues that lead to a business failing is poor customer service; customers are the lifeblood of any business. This is why a new business must continually create a bond and build professional relationships with all of their customers.
One way to secure relationships with your customers is to make each person feel important and excited when they visit. This is done by having a friendly staff, which is consistently welcoming patrons as they enter and thanking them when they leave. Using eye contact and greeting each customer with a general level of excitement goes a long way. In addition, being accountable for mistakes and quickly resolving issues can leave a customer feeling satisfied. Following up with customers can offer an additional opportunity to spend quality time and invite them back again.
While these may seem to be basic components of customer service, they are also frequently forgotten.
Often times, businesses can experience losing customers by over extending or spreading themselves too thin, which can leave a customer looking around when in need of some service. This is an important aspect of what not to do, as consumers are not always as forgiving as we hope them to be.
The end result is to have your customers leave with a great experience and expectations to return. Providing excellent customer service, combined with a great product, having a reliable and well-trained staff will set a business apart from others.
Ultimately, it comes down to treating your customers better than the business next door. Word of mouth advertising can be beneficial to a small business, or it can be poisonous, as people tend to speak more often of the bad experiences in life rather than the good ones. So, give them something good to talk about.
If a small business owner feels their company is already providing great customer service, then I commend your small business for understanding the importance of securing loyalty amongst your staff and customers. Being a part of a feel-good environment creates a memorable experience and offers a sense of identity, which is a key factor in the businesses that are still around from when I was a child.
Daniel Del Pino is a small business consultant and advocate. He can be reached at by calling (707) 537-5875 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.